The Republican-controlled Pennsylvania House voted Tuesday to terminate Gov. Tom Wolf’s COVID-19 emergency declaration. House Speaker Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) and House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin) announced that the approval ofResolution 106, which will terminate Wolf’s March 6, 2020, disaster declaration.
As reported by goerie.com, the 113-90 vote came after the Democratic Governor has lifted almost all pandemic restrictions, except for the mask mandate which will be kept until June 28 or 70% of the state is fully vaccinated. Pennsylvanian residents who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear masks.
May 18 Pennsylvania primary results set to limit the governor’s executive powers and hand more control of disaster declarations to the legislative branch.
“When the voters approved these constitutional amendments just a few short weeks ago, their message was loud and clear: It is time to end the governor’s emergency powers,” said Cutler.
“The emergency is over. Our hospitals are not overrun, successful vaccines are available and abundant, our schools are prepared to teach in person and Pennsylvanians are back to work. The time is now to end the declaration,” the House Speaker added.
The resolution to divest Wolf’s emergency powers cannot officially take effect until primary results are certified. Benninghoff, said this vote means Wolf’s COVID-19 disaster declaration will end “immediately upon certification.”
Removing Wolf’s emergency powers was the top priority of the House as the lower chamber returned this week. The Senate is also expected to take up the issue this week, and it is expected to pass.
Benninghoff added that the House can now move forward with its other top priorities: election reform and finishing the budget.